By Rick Reeno
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38KOs) is still shocked that anyone could have scored against him in the first fight with Timothy Bradley (31-0, 12KOs), which took place in June of 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The HBO Pay-Per-View rematch, for Bradley's WBO welterweight title, is scheduled for this Saturday at the same venue.
Pacquiao felt he was clearly ahead at the finish line, but two of the official judges disagreed. Judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford had it 115-113 for Bradley, while Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Pacquiao. The avoid any post-fight controversy in the rematch, two non-Nevada judges were assigned to the fight.
"I've been in boxing for more than 20 years. I know who's winning and who's losing, and he's claiming that he won the fight," Pacquiao said as he shook his head.
"I don't really have any idea [how anybody could have scored it for Bradley]. I watched the replay of the fight. I've been in boxing for more than 20 years. I just don't know."
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, would prefer a knockout ending. And he's been training Pacquiao to go for the kill in camp. He felt Pacquiao hurt Bradley several times in the first match, but never tried to close the show. This time around, Roach guarantees that Pacquiao will strongly pursue a knockout finish if he gets Bradley in the same kind of trouble.
"I think there were moments in that fight where we hurt him and let him off the hook a little bit, because Manny felt [there was no reason to take a risk] because he was winning so easily. It was a good learning lesson for us, because if you get him out there then there are no judges. I think there were instances in the first fight where Manny hurt him and could have got him out of there," Roach said.